Do you ever have that thing when, as the season changes, you look into your clothes drawers or closet and realise you have NOTHING to wear? The weather here changed so dramatically in the space of just a few days taking us from shorts to woolly socks seemingly overnight. And there seems to be very little in the closet that will actually work for right now. If you are organised, your fall/winter wardrobe will be stored safely awaiting this change in temperature and you can just switch them around. But if, like us, you just seem to have no appropriate clothes, here’s how to clear out your closet and make your wardrobe work for you this season.
To get started, empty all your clothes onto the bed. Hold each item in turn and ask yourself these questions:
1.When did you last wear it?
If the answer is ‘Not in the last twelve months’ you should get rid of it. Unless it has particular sentimental value, in which case zip it into a storage bag and put it somewhere else. If you wore it recently but it’s too summery, put it aside into a pile for summer clothes.
2. How do you feel when you hold it?
Some garments just feel right – they remind us of fun nights out, or successful meetings, or are trusty wardrobe staples that we wear all the time. You might have a shirt that makes you feel strong and gorgeous, or some trousers that are super comfortable and always get compliments. Other things can make us feel guilty (that we bought them, or that we haven’t worn them). Maybe you’ve been holding on to something in case you can one day fit into it again. Some garments look tatty and sad, which can make us feel equally dreary – time for the stained t-shirts and bobbly trackies to go. If it makes you feel bad, get rid of it.
Remember Marie Kondo’s idea that everything should ‘spark joy’. Whilst this may be overstating things, it’s a good rule to keep only those items that lift your spirits.
3. Does it work with your other clothes?
If you follow the principles of establishing a minimalist wardrobe (go here for a great series on this), each item you own should work with the others so that you keep just a core of interchangeable basics and a few statement pieces. Whilst this doesn’t mean sticking to the same palette entirely, it makes sense to keep clothes that don’t clash and that complement each other. Navy, tan, black and grey all work brilliantly together, and you can add some blush pinks or pastels in there for spring and summer. If you find that dress in a garish print that you love but just can’t find anything to go with it, let it go.
4. Is is right for this season?
We don’t mean ‘Does it fit in with the latest fast-fashion seasonal trend?’ but rather, think about how you can wear each item over the next few months. You might have a skirt that is short but that looks great with chunky tights, or a blouse that works brilliantly with a cardi thrown over. But if there are some pieces that are purely season-specific, put these away until their time of year comes around again.
Once you’ve edited your closet contents like this you should have a good idea of exactly what you do have that you can actually wear this autumn. You could either take discarded items to charity shops, sell them on eBay, or invite your friends around for a clothes swap. Now that you can see what is there, you will also get a good idea of what is missing. You might realise that you need some lightweight jerseys to carry you over to winter, or one key tunic that will form the basis of your fall wardrobe, or some cosy pyjamas to snuggle up in as the nights draw in.
When your wardrobe is sorted, there’s no need to spend ages trying to decide what to wear, or agonising over a new purchase. Which leaves more time for enjoying the mellow autumn, whether that’s taking a walk in the late afternoon light, or baking a crumble with windfall apples and foraged blackberries.
Carefully considering what clothes you have and what is missing means not only saves you time, but you will also avoid impulse buying. Instead you can look for the ideal, long-wearing, versatile pieces that you actually need. Invest in good quality items that will keep going for several years, and look after them well.
This process is also useful for getting end-of-season sale bargains that you can add to your summer pile and store away for next year. Linen items will store brilliantly as they naturally repel moths and other insects, and just need a quick refresh when you are ready to wear them. Just make sure you store your summer clothes somewhere dry and dark.
If you need help sorting other areas of your home or life, go here. Happy clearing!